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The Coupon Connection and related issues (master thread)

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Old Apr 26, 2013, 12:40 am
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Last edit by: JDiver

The Coupon Connection Forum on FlyerTalk:
What it is, how it works, to whom it is accessible.

The Coupon Connection forum was closed temporarily in 2014 due to issues with American Airlines closing accounts based on certain transactions; The Coupon Connection Forum has reopened, with new rules / guidelines. We apologize for the inconvenience members have experienced during the temporary closure.

Eligible active members (two basic criteria are 180 days of being a FlyerTalk member and having 180 or more contributive posts) will be able to see The Coupon Connection in their FlyerTalk Forums list under the Community title. If you can not see this Forum, you are ineligible to participate in it.

FT members will have to assent to abide by the new Rules prior to being granted access. (N.B. The Coupon Connection access is not a right; it is a it is a privilege that is granted for active participation and contribution to FlyerTalk, and at least 180 days of membership and 180 contributive posts. A person's "post count" is just one index of his or her experience on and commitment to FlyerTalk.)

One can see the exact date they opened their account and other statistical data by visiting their profile (click on your handle in any post, that option will be presented). See here.

There are new guidelines and conditions, so posts about The Coupon Connection technical issues prior to the date of closure, 15 April 2014, have been archived and may be found here: ARCHIVE: Coupon Connection related issues (prior to 15 Apr 2014). Previous guidelines and terms and conditions (those in effect prior to 15 April 2014) are also listed there in the wikipost.

FAQ: The Coupon Connection:

Q. How can I learn more about The Coupon Connection?

A. When you are granted access, familiarize yourself with The Coupon Connection TOS in the "Welcome" message and affirm you have read and will abide by the rules in the popup box; those not affirming will not be granted access. Be sure to read over Forum Rules and "stickies" before you proceed. Also note: Any and all American Airlines instruments may not be offered or requested in The Coupon Connection forum.

The new rules / Guidelines you must assent to (you must click on I agree ) prior to being granted access (if you do not agree, you will not be granted access):

Coupon Connection FAQ / Guidelines (You are expected to read and be familiar with before posting!).
Updated 06/04/2014

Coupon Connection is a forum where members can exchange and/or offer limited unneeded travel-related items. Coupon Connection is NOT a marketplace . the buying and selling of any items is strictly prohibited. This includes any transactions that attempt to circumvent the no-cash provision. Think of it more like a water cooler environment. A group of like-minded travel junkies who may not need that extra drink coupon but might want a discount on their next duty-free purchase onboard.

Coupon Connection is intended for members who are active participants and contributors to the broader FT forums. Access to Coupon Connection is not automatic with membership to FlyerTalk; it is a privilege that is granted for active participation and contribution to FlyerTalk.

Coupon Connection is intended for your personal use only. A substantial number of transactions can be sufficient evidence that you are not using Coupon Connection for your personal use. This can lead to your losing access to Coupon Connection. In addition, failure to fully participate and contribute in the broader FlyerTalk forums can also lead to losing Coupon Connection privileges.

The moderators will not issue warnings to members not contributing outside Coupon Connection, nor will they offer any metrics as to what contributes excessive participation. Most members adhere to the spirit of Coupon Connection with only occasional participation in the Coupon Connection forum. Those members who choose to .Live in Coupon Connection. may find their access revoked.

Members are expected to be completely aware of all the T&C of both what is being offered and requested. Should information be desired on any item's T&C, or whether or not an item exists, it is the responsibility of the member to do their own research in the forum(s) in question or elsewhere. Coupon Connection is not the place to conduct such research and such requests for information will be deleted. Prospective traders should direct questions to the OP via PM, not in the public forum.

The Coupon Connection moderators have wide latitude and discretion in determining what is in the best interests of the Community. These Coupon Connection rules are not up for debate by the membership. If you do not wish to comply with the rules of the forum, we ask that you refrain from participating in the forum. If you're looking for a marketplace or "FlyerTalk eBay", YOU ARE IN THE WRONG PLACE. Please go elsewhere for such an experience.

Warning: It has come to our attention that trades of AA instruments and miles have resulted in account forfeitures. Thus, no AA exchanges are permitted. While the team has done its best to determine what is allowed to be exchanged, responsibility lies on the shoulders of the traders. Please advise the Coupon Connection moderators should any program notify you that an exchange is not permitted.

1. What's Coupon Connection all about?

Coupon Connection is a place to exchange and offer as gifts travel-related items which you may not be able to use. It is not a marketplace . buying and selling of any item is not allowed. As such, no trades involving cash or cash equivalent items are allowed to be offered or solicited.

2. Can I offer a coupon/certificate for cash, or offer cash for a coupon/certificate?

NO. "Trades" involving cash value or cash equivalent offered or solicited are not allowed here. Offering or requesting cash is an excellent way to lose your Coupon Connection privileges. Please note: If we are alerted to the fact -- because a FlyerTalker has forwarded one of your emails or Private Messages -- that you are offering to buy or sell items, your post will be subject to deletion by the moderators. You will also, following the FlyerTalk TOS, be subject to sanctions including a warning, timeouts lasting 7 to 30 days, being masked from Coupon Connection access, or a permanent removal of posting privileges on FlyerTalk.)

In an effort to clarify the types of items that can be traded, the moderators have prepared some examples. This is in no way an exhaustive list, and the moderator team will make the call where necessary as to what is or is not allowed.

  • Travel-specific coupons (e.g. Upgrades, travel vouchers).
  • Mileage awards for two persons max. The exact airline award must be specified.
  • Hotel awards for one stay for 1 room maximum.
  • Travel-related coupons (e.g. Travel-related coupons from Entertainment books - not the full book, airport parking coupons).
  • Time Share units.
  • Travel-related items (e.g. e-Rewards if travel related, travel books (no electronic versions), T-Mobile passes, International phone cards and SIM cards)
  • Airline or FlyerTalk-related items, such as pajamas issued by the airline or luggage tags.

Not allowed:
  • ANY American Airlines items
  • Third party trades of any kind (If the trader is not a passenger/guest, the trade is not permitted)
  • Activity-related items (e.g. Amusement park passes, other entertainment event tickets, even if they are issued by a travel program).
  • Credit card scheme points/awards
  • Large quantities of miles/points as determined by the discretion of the moderators.
  • Products (e.g. Coke & Pepsi points rewards, Headphones, iPods, MyPoints, etc).
  • Full Entertainment Books
  • No "workarounds" on non-transferable items. If the item's T&C state "non-transferable", then that's the end of it. Not permitted in Coupon Connection.
  • Cash or Gift Cards or Gift Certificates of any kind (e.g. Cash, gasoline cards, department store GC, restaurant GC, Hotel Gift Cards/Certificates/Vouchers, Airline Gift Cards) . Our general rule is that if you can buy the item, it is not permitted.
  • There are a few exceptions to this rule: FlyerTalk merchandise may be gifted.
  • Personal accommodations, hotel "comps", or any items requiring the use of cash (eg. SPG Cash and Points awards). Exception: taxes/fees on airline awards may be paid by either party. Please decide who pays what in advance to avoid disputes.

3. Isn't the trading of miles/points/awards against the rules (both the airlines' and per the forum's description) since it's "bartering"? Isn't this "illegal"?

Many people may use the term .illegal.. There is nothing illegal about exchanging these items. There may, however, be rules within each loyalty program which prohibit such transactions, and those rules may include penalties up to and including termination of your account and seizure of your miles or points. The Coupon Connection moderators have taken a position, based on long-standing practice that we will not interfere with what you choose to trade in terms of its applicability to program policy.

Note: We have evidence that loyalty program staff read this forum and have taken actions against members who utilize Coupon Connection. You are encouraged to be very careful and research your trading partners. In particular, dealing with brokers can cause issues with the various loyalty programs.

Suggestion: Make sure your email address in your FlyerTalk profile is NOT the same as your email address stored in your favorite airlines' websites. Do not post specific miles/points balances or other potentially identifiable personal information.

4. I'm new around here; what's the basic drill for how this forum works?

  • If you have an item that you wish to give away to the community, please post it in the .Giveaway. sticky at the top of the forum. Please provide adequate details about the item in your post. If you have more than one type of item, make different posts. We ask that you edit your post with the word .GONE. when the item has been given away.
  • If you have a trade to propose, start a new thread with as specific title as possible. In your thread, include as many details as possible. Assume nothing. Don't be coy or vague. State explicitly what you have to offer and what item(s) you seek in return. State any items that you are not interested in. If you choose not to be explicit, your offer may get few responses or generate unnecessary questions. Make sure you edit your profile so that you have allowed people to contact you via Private Message. If you see an "offer" you'd like to respond to, click on the poster's name to Private Message the poster -- DON'T put your response/request (or certainly your snail mail address!) in the thread itself! Sometimes posters will include their email in a post; in that case you may prefer to email him/her but always include your FlyerTalk handle -- there are too many trolls out there who try to take advantage or run a coupon brokering business or who have an unsavory history on FlyerTalk. A person's FlyerTalk username in an email to you is your ticket to searching their participation and posting history on FlyerTalk. If you are being harassed by someone, let us know. (And -- if you're responding to an offer, don't be coy -- say up front what you're seeking and what you have to trade! Same goes if you're offering something: If you need something fairly specific in trade, say so.) You should never include personally identifiable information within your post . phone numbers and mailing addresses will be removed without notice by the moderators. (This is for your protection.) If you are responding to someone's offer of something for free, it's courteous to offer to send a stamped, self-addressed envelope. (And, by the way, if you're new here, don't start out in your first few posts asking for something, particularly a high-value item. As with any community, history and generosity count for a lot! Why not make your first post or two an offer rather than a wish-list?) Finally, send a thank you email when the cert you're trading for arrives. This lets the giver know if you've received the item and lets them know it's appreciated (a simple courtesy that Mom taught all of us, no?).
  • One more thing: Unless it is otherwise agreed to in writing, all trade obligations must take place within a year (365 days) from the time a deal is reached.
  • Bumping of threads are no longer allowed. If you have any information to add to your original thread or to answer any questions, you should create a WIKI for your thread and answer all questions there. If you should have a question about an offer, either PM the poster or ask a question in the WIKI, no bumping of threads to ask questions.

5. WooHoo! I did my first "offer" and now it's on its way to a lucky recipient. What do I do next?

Edit your initial post and put "GONE" at the very top of it. This is also simple courtesy. ALSO, add a note to your own post that the trade is completed and that the moderators may now close the thread. We also suggest that you .Report Your Post. to alert the moderators to close the thread.

6. What should I do if it looks like a deal's gone bad or I've gotten burned?

First, err on the side of liberality. If you've done a trade and you think you've been burned somehow, email or Private Message the person privately SEVERAL times. Remember, email does go down sometimes and folks on this forum do travel (duh!) and your anxiety about receiving will make the time seem longer. Second, if there is a high-value item involved, be satisfied before you do the deal -- e.g., confirm/trade phone numbers, emails, (multiple contact means), carefully note the poster's "post count" (more on this in a moment), don't send anything to a questionable address, (and confirm the existence of the postal address through any number of internet look-up directories), look up some of the threads the person has posted in, get a feel for how active/respected on FlyerTalk he/she is. Third, if after two weeks of determined follow-up on your part, consider posting a thread on the Coupon Connection forum which does not yet identify the person by their FlyerTalk handle, but with enough detail so that he/she may see it there, recognize him - or herself, realize that something's gone terribly awry, and still be able to resolve things. Finally, if no resolution is possible from the previous step, then you can either post the FlyerTalk handle on the thread you started in step 3 or chalk it up to experience (but your fellow FTers would probably appreciate the former). At any point don't hesitate to edit your posts in a thread if things get resolved and were due to a misunderstanding or some such; no reason to have all the details hanging there for all time if you're finally satisfied and what you originally wrote does not now reflect the situation.

7. What's the "post count" business? How does it relate to Coupon Connection?

A person's "post count" is just one index of his or her experience on and commitment to FlyerTalk. A high post count -- along with the other information you may find in reading their threads and responses to them! -- is one way to assess how trustworthy a person is in this venue. Where he or she has posted is also one index to their contributions to the FlyerTalk community. For example, if you see that a poster has 300 posts, but they are mostly in Coupon Connection, lounge threads, or Omni, then you may wonder how committed they are to the overall FlyerTalk community.

8. And what's that rule that I learned when I was 4 years old . "If a deal is too good to be true, it probably isn't"?

No one is going to really trade you a United Systemwide Upgrade cert, for example, for one of your UA drink coupons. Lurk for awhile before posting and get a feel for what the common relative values of items are. Remember that the vast majority of folks here are generous, but also don't intend to get "taken" either. They also don't appreciate folks who never offer, even after having been around awhile, but are always asking! (And, speaking of the common relative values of items, if you get a common travel coupon in the mail with the pile of other worthless coupons that seem to come every week, and have no use for it - give it away if you'd like, but don't ask for anything of value in return and especially don't try to "put one over" on a newbie. You don't want to do that and you don't want the reputation for doing that.

9. Seems like I might be able to turn a few "profits" trading here by getting coupons I don't really need "on spec" and using them to leverage better trades. Good idea?

No. Common sense and decency dictate that freebies are either a) used for yourself in the manner they were intended by the giver; or, if you are unexpectedly unable to use what you have been given or traded for, then, b) offered back to the original gifter with a note of thanks; and if he/she doesn't want the item back, then c) offered back to the community at no charge and with no gain to the "middleman." Fair enough? This isn't rocket science -- don't take undue advantage of the kindness shown on this board (or you'll find very quickly that no one will trade with you!) It must also be noted that unless otherwise specified in advance by the member offering an item (whether for a gift or a trade), all items given or traded via FlyerTalk are from the member's own account and are for the recipient's personal use only, and may not be further re-traded. All trades or gifts on Coupon Connection are to be treated as interactions between friends, and no member shall seek to push people to the wall, practice deception, or deal on unfair terms. Moderators will use their judgment in addressing situations that contradict these rules, and violation of the rules will subject members to the same disciplinary process as is laid out in the FlyerTalk Terms of Service.

10. Seems like lots of "rules"; how are they enforced?

Actually, there are relatively few "rules," and the FAQ only tries to describe the kind of community practices that make for civility and hospitality. There are two moderators of this forum -- currently Wharvey and Spiff -- and their jobs are really simple as long as everyone gets into the spirit of the place: to keep posts civil and on-topic and in line with the FlyerTalk terms-of-service, to assist and welcome newbies, and to do the "housekeeping" that is helpful (like closing threads where there is a "done deal" so you don't have to read those threads unnecessarily).

11. Any last words from the moderators?

Sure. We always like the last word.
  • Remember that both "sides" of any exchange MUST be travel-related.
  • All trades are assumed to be for your personal, non-financial uses. NO third party trades are allowed. All trades must be for personal/family use.
  • Do not .beg. in Coupon Connection. If you are not willing to give to the community, do not always take.
  • Don't try to "sell" awards/points for cash or "cash equivalents" No department store gift certificates, etc.
  • Also note: if an item is prohibited as a "trade" item, it is also prohibited as a "gift" item.
  • The FT TOS also applies in Coupon Connection. If you have questions or comments regarding moderator action (or perceived lack thereof), moderation in general, or whether someone is supposed to have Coupon Connection access, please contact the moderators via PM. Do not publicly post such concerns.

Enjoy your time here and if you have any questions, please PM the Coupon Connection moderators: wharvey and Spiff.

Actually, if you have a question, it is best to copy BOTH Coupon Connection moderators on your note; that way it has the best chance of being responded to in a timely way.

Print Wikipost

The Coupon Connection and related issues (master thread)

Old Nov 25, 2013, 3:51 pm
Moderator: American AAdvantage
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2000
Location: NorCal - SMF area
Programs: AA LT Plat; HH LT Diamond, Matre-plongeur des Muccis
Posts: 62,946
Cool The Coupon Connection and related issues (master thread)

When first attempting to access The Coupon Connection, you will have to have 180 days on FlyerTalk and 180 constructive posts; you must also agree to the terms and conditions by responding to this pop up to gain access.
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Last edited by JDiver; Jul 12, 2017 at 4:27 pm
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Old Apr 15, 2014, 10:38 pm
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 4,396
Arrow The Coupon Connection and related issues (master thread)

I used to have access to TCC, but just checked today and am unable to do so. Suggestions please? Thanks!
drzoidberg is offline  
Old Apr 15, 2014, 10:41 pm
In Memoriam, FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Benicia CA
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Posts: 31,849
The forum is temporarily CLOSED and has been taken off-line. That happened earlier today. There is no ETA for when the forum will reopen.

Posted by the Community Director:

Coupon Connection will be going offline
After serious discussions between the Coupon Connection moderators and me about the issues that have come to the forefront in the past 24 hours, the decision has been taken to take the Coupon Connection Forum offline for the time being. I anticipate that this will happen yet today.

The moderators will be doing some forum cleanup and developing new guidelines before we re-open the forum.

At this time, we cannot predict when the forum will be reopened.
tom911 is offline  
Old Apr 15, 2014, 11:32 pm
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 4,396
Originally Posted by tom911
The forum is temporarily CLOSED and has been taken off-line. That happened earlier today. There is no ETA for when the forum will reopen.

Posted by the Community Director:
Oh ok, thanks! Missed that notice.
drzoidberg is offline  
Old Apr 15, 2014, 11:50 pm
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: San Jose, CA
Programs: Hilton Gold; UA 3P; Cattle-Class on everything else.
Posts: 342
Can anyone please share the nature of the issues that 'have come to forefront in the past 24 hours'?
gya007 is offline  
Old Apr 15, 2014, 11:58 pm
In Memoriam, FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Benicia CA
Programs: Alaska MVP Gold 75K, AA 3.8MM, UA 1.1MM, enjoying the retired life
Posts: 31,849
Read the last page or two of this thread:
Account audit / fraud issues - Busted selling miles / SWU / VIP, etc (consolidated)

This blog also covers it:
Wanna trade for an American Airlines eVIP?
tom911 is offline  
Old Apr 16, 2014, 12:50 am
FlyerTalk Evangelist
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I did see a May 15th reopening date mentioned earlier.
Jaimito Cartero is offline  
Old Apr 16, 2014, 1:03 am
In Memoriam, FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Benicia CA
Programs: Alaska MVP Gold 75K, AA 3.8MM, UA 1.1MM, enjoying the retired life
Posts: 31,849
I think that related to the posting of a site-wide announcement and the default for posting that message was 30 days. Don't think it related to how long the forum would actually be closed. wharvey had posted something about it on the now-deleted Talk Board thread.
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Old Apr 16, 2014, 6:25 am
Moderator: Coupon Connection & S.P.A.M
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Louisville, KY
Programs: Destination Unknown, TSA Disparager Diamond (LTDD)
Posts: 57,960
Originally Posted by Jaimito Cartero
I did see a May 15th reopening date mentioned earlier.
Not necessarily accurate. That's just the announcement date termination. Right now, the re-opening date is TBD.
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Old Apr 17, 2014, 7:15 pm
Formerly known as FTRox87
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: TX
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Posts: 1,428
I always thought the criteria was 90 posts, guess it's since been updated and increased... but looks like the forum has been closed again atleast temp... I've yet to experience the magical world that lies beyond lol but one day!
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Old Apr 17, 2014, 7:26 pm
In Memoriam, FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Benicia CA
Programs: Alaska MVP Gold 75K, AA 3.8MM, UA 1.1MM, enjoying the retired life
Posts: 31,849
The 180 days/180 posts was changed in 2011.
Motion Passed: Change Coupon Connection Access Requirements
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Old Apr 17, 2014, 9:26 pm
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: BOS .. but soon SFO
Programs: UA PLAT, TK GLD, Hilton Diamond, IC PLAT, SPG GLD, Marriott GLD
Posts: 1,528
edit: nevermind, just read the blog post about it going down

Last edited by stupidzbu; Apr 17, 2014 at 9:32 pm
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Old Apr 17, 2014, 9:32 pm
In Memoriam, FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Benicia CA
Programs: Alaska MVP Gold 75K, AA 3.8MM, UA 1.1MM, enjoying the retired life
Posts: 31,849
Read post #487 a few above yours.
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Old Apr 24, 2014, 8:22 pm
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Japan
Posts: 5,578
Originally Posted by stupidzbu
edit: nevermind, just read the blog post about it going down
I just wanted to get on, find out it's down but have no idea why. Can you please point me to the blog post?
Nevermind here as well. Just curious what happened.
Exleftseat is offline  
Old Apr 25, 2014, 9:35 am
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,913
Not sure why I do not have access. I have traded before on Coupon Connection and have well over 90 posts. Can someone please help?

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